Time for another review ... The Dark Knight

July 20 2008

Image:Time for another review ... The Dark Knight

I am not sure how I can put into words a review that sets myself apart from everyone else who has written reviews on the web the past week. So I wanted to cover things that I have not read elsewhere ... Yes, the movie is amazing. Yes, it broke both first day and first weekend numbers of Spiderman 3. But here is some personal thoughts:

1. This movie was a Chicago travelog. Since we did not see Arkham Asylum in the movie, there was no need to do any CGI on the cityscape. That was Chicago. But not just Christian Bale actually standing on the Sears Tower, you saw Navy Pier and the building I live in. Multiple times! How cool was that.

2. Not only was the city view Chicago, but so was the courtrooms, the locations of the press conferences, the funeral for the Commissioner, Lower Wacker drive for the underground chase scenes (and no clue how they got a semi truck down there). I saw places I walk, eat at , and just drive in almost every scene.

3. The building at the end under construction, that was Trump Tower Chicago. It just blows my mind how much Nolan filmed in Chicago. How much was done on sound stages in Hollywood?

4. Yes, Heath Ledger is amazing. But Aaron Eckhard's Harvey Dent and Two Face is for me the killer acting in this movie. OH MY GOD is this portrayal just perfect. And it might even been the best use of CGI to replace part of a real human being in any movie. Did you know that all of Two Face's burns were CGI? ALL OF THEM.

5. You must see this in IMAX. MUST MUST MUST

6. This is by far the best comic movie ever made. Better than X-Men or X-Men 2. Better than Iron Man.

7. I really hope they do a third and final movie in this trilogy. Batman does deserve to go out not as the bad guy. But who would be next? The Riddler could be done right, but can he fit this world without the Joker?

8. This is the first movie since Return of the King that I will see more than once in the theater. WOW.

What did you think? Did it live up to your expecations?

3 Responses to “Time for another review ... The Dark Knight”

  1. 1) Alan Lepofsky says:

    Hi John, that must have been cool seeing your local places. Don't tell me you live in Bruce Wayne's penthouse! I know how you feel, Toronto is used as the city double for so many films, I'm always seeing places I know.

    Anyway, as I am sure you could tell on Twitter, we're not going to agree fully on this one! I liked the movie, but I did not think it was all that special. (nor did the others I saw it with, and all the people that responded to me on twitter).

    For me the best parts were:

    The Imax was amazing, the Joker was so perfect (most people don't know just how psychotic the joker is in the comics), I loved that we learned a little about Alfred's past, I loved Gordon growing into his character, loved Maggie 1000 times more than Katie, and yes, Harvey was good.

    The bad: I would have liked more fill in from between films 1 and 2. What has Batman been doing to get the people of Gotham to rally behind him, or turn those against him? How did he set up shop in the new "bat-garage?". Where did Harvey come from, and how did he get to be DA? Just more set up to bring us to the point where Gotham is at... a town on the brink, criminals not feared, etc. ... enter the Joker, Harvey/Twoface.

    I did not like the side story of the chinese company, the trip there, and the other pieces of that puzzle. Same for the weasel accountant that figures out who Batman is. I did not feel either story added to the movie. I also did not like the sonar stuff. Sure it looked neat and he's a bat, and in the comics Batman does keep track of people better than anyone else (can you say JL Watchtower!), but it just seemed way to hooky in the movie.

    Over all it was great, and did an amazing job of introducing the symbiotic relationship between Batman and the Joker. (which goes on some pretty amazing turns in Batman Beyond, including Robin, nuff said) Also the concepts that all of us have good and evil inside, it is which we choose to embrace that make us who we are, were explored very well. I just think it could have easily been edited down to a more concise story.

    BTW, no one I've spoken to understood a word of Gordon's final speech, the vocals were way to quiet, and muted out by the louder sounds. all I heard was "blah blah blah... dark night"

    I'd give it an 8.

  2. 2) Alan Lepofsky says:

    BTW, to answer your question about next villains, I'd like to see them do something like the villain team ups in the new series, where people like Killer Croc and Firefly get some screen time. I hope they avoid Robin, unless they do it right, and not make him a comic sidekick, but instead explore how Bruce fears letting anyone get close. Also some Barbara Gordon stuff could be interesting.

  3. 3) Alan Lepofsky says:

    Ok, one more tought... it would be cool if they started to introduce Batman into the larger Justice League world.

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